Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two Horses

There is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.. Looking into the eyes
of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing.

If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell... Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two horses, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others
to find their way....

Good friends are like that... you may not always
see them, but you know they are always there.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The doctor put Ron on Zoloft and told him he was having anxiety attacks. Of course Ron doesn't agree but he's willing to take the medicine. I agree with the doctor!
I'm feeling better today thought I am always on the verge of tears for some reason. I can't talk about Ron without tearing up. Hopefully that will get better also. Someone told me that cancer is like having a bomb in your backpack but you just don't know if the fuse is lit. That really describes how I feel.

I took something to help me sleep last night and it worked great but I woke up having the craziest dreams. I can't remember all of it but I know it was wild.

I'm working late today because I have a 6pm meeting. Good thing I got some sleep!

Little Johnny

Little Johnny's at it again..... A new teacher was trying to make use of her
psychology courses. She started her class by saying, 'Everyone who thinks
they're stupid, stand up!' After a few seconds, Little Johnny stood up. The
teacher said, 'Do you think you're stupid, Little Johnny?' 'No, ma'am, but I
hate to see you standing there all by yourself!'

* * * * * * * * * * *

Little Johnny watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her
face. 'Why do you do that, mommy?' he asked. 'To make myself beautiful,'
said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue. 'What's the
matter?' asked Little Johnny. 'Giving up?'

* * * * * * * * * * *

The math teacher saw that little Johnny wasn't paying attention in class.
She called on him and said,

'Johnny! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?' Little Johnny quickly replied, 'NBC,
FOX, ESPN and the Cartoon Network!'

Monday, September 28, 2009

I've been a little under the weather for a few days. I'm getting my blood sugar under control but I'm having a few side effects from the blood pressure medication. I'm confident I'll get everything worked out soon. I was up all night (woke up at 1am sick as a dog) and didn't go back to sleep until 8:00 am. That is exhausting! I have to go back to the clinic on the 6th of Oct. for another blood test.

Ron is having episodes of what he calls clostraphobia. I wonder if he is having anxiety or panic attacks. All of a sudden he just has to jump up and go outside. I asked him to call his doctor today because I thought they might be able to give him something to help. I don't know if he will or not.

This 6 month wait to his next appointment may be stressful. Dr. D. told him that if the cancer is going to come back it probably won't take long. He was worried that if the tumor had invaded the blood vein(which he scraped but doesn't know if it had already invaded) then the cancer will probably return in his liver. I know that is not a good scenario. A friend of mine had liver cancer and lived about 16 weeks after diagnosis. It was not an easy 16 weeks either. Too much information is not helping me get my anxiety under control. Ron still doesn't talk about what he is thinking. We are definitely strained around each other.

Well, the bottom line is that all the anxiety or worry in the world won't change anything. We've just got to find a way to move on in the meantime.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I am feeling very fortunate today to be of native American ancestry as it may be what saves me in today's health care crisis. I spent the morning yesterday at the Pottawatomie Health Clinic taking my first class in diabetes management. I had every test done from blood work to pedicure (this is important to diabetics) as I learned yesterday. Our group met for an hour with a dietitian followed by an hour with the RN in charge of the diabetes education program. The clinic is as modern as any health facility I have ever gone to and next door is a complete wellness center. The wellness center has state-of-the-art equipment including fitness equipment, indoor track and swimming pool, plus aerobics is great! I get all my blood testing equipment and testing strips for free and all of this without having to worry about cost. What a relief. I am also fortunate to have health insurance provided by the state as I am a state employee but with the rising cost of co-pays it will soon be too expensive to go to the doctor even with insurance. Our co-pays are going to double in January and our prescription co-pays are increasing as well. For lower paid employees it will really impact their decision to go to the doctor as a routine visit with a prescription will be a minimum of $90.00 to $100.00. So much for preventive medicine! Even though it is a 45 minute to an hour drive to the Pottawatomie Clinic it is worth the drive. Everything is free to me even my prescriptions. I just wish everyone had access to such fine care.

Ron had his 2 week follow-up visit yesterday as well. He will have a PET scan in 6 months. The doctor told him he has a 50/50 chance of the cancer returning and if it does it will most likely be in the liver since that is the direction in which the tumor was growing. The only other recommendation was for Ron to lose some weight. Ron has such an optimistic attitude I know that will help him cope with everything.

When I was at the clinic yesterday my doctor also recommended I get counseling (also offered for free) and she wanted me to consider medication as well. I told her I wanted to wait and see if getting my diet worked out and blood sugar under control would all make me feel better and cope better. I think I feel guilty that I'm having such a hard time with Ron's cancer. Much harder time than he seems to be having. Some how that feels selfish on my part. I can't bare the thought I losing him and when I think about the possibility I just have a melt down. Here he is the one who has lost a kidney and must deal with this every day and I'm thinking about my own possibility of loss. Doesn't seem right! Maybe I do need a little therapy....we'll see! I do know that getting healthy will help as well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Extreme (OK Minor) Home Makeover

I never did post pictures of my refinished vanity.....I couldn't find knobs to match my dresser but they are the same finish. I never knew how many shades of white there were. I must have gone through 40 paint samples before I found one that nearly matched. I purchased the new comforter set 3 years ago but finally got it out of the package. (a few wrinkles) Some day I'll paint the paneling but right now it will have to suffice. I don't have the energy to spare. The carpet turned out good so I am pleased.

A Cute Story:

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her.

Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket toward the man. He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

'Oh my, I am so sorry,' the woman says as she pops her eye back in place....

'Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you,' she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theater followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his.. She listens.

After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast. They had a wonderful, wonderful time.

The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed. Everything had been SO incredible! 'You know,' he said, 'you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?'

'No,' she replies. . .

'You just happened to catch my eye.'

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Jellybean has a new home. The rabbit that was rescued by my daughter and son-in-law has now been taken into foster care by the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary. You can read his story here The kids felt they had done everything they could for Jellybean but he had started chewing on his paralyzed legs and no matter what they did they couldn't prevent the behavior. They had been in constant contact with the rabbit sanctuary since they rescued Jellybean so they agreed to meet them 1/2 way between Dallas and here to take him. Jellybean's legs will be amputated and then a little wheelchair fashioned for him. They say he will be able to live a long, happy life and will be ready for adoption soon. All of this happened because of 11 year old's who stole someone's pet and then tried to kill it so they wouldn't get caught. How sad is that?

I spent the whole day at the clinic yesterday and indeed my blood sugar was high along with my blood pressure and other various chemical components that make up my existence. I am going to attend a diabetic clinic starting tomorrow. There will be 4 classes in all but it is intended to educate me on how to monitor my blood sugar and how to eat, etc. I am anxious to get to work on this so I will start feeling better. I had been borderline diabetic for a number of years but managed to keep it at bay. This past year I have not monitored my eating or maintained an exercise program so I wasn't surprised that I finally tipped the scale. My doctor had always said it was inevitable because of family history but I really tried to delay it as long as possible. So....I'll just get to work as maybe with a little luck I can get back into the safe zone!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, Monday.....

I was sick all weekend with a headache and sinus infection. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow and will have my blood sugar checked out. I stayed home today and after sleeping about 12 hours I'm feeling a little better. I think I needed a time-out!

My brother likes to call me every hour on the hour and because it is easy for his anxiety level to sky-rocket I have to be careful about what I say. He gets really anxious if he thinks I'm sick. I know he feels that I'm the only person he has in the world. Ron is so good with him. He spends a lot of time with Mike. They have lunch together several days a week and they are football watching buddies. Just another reason why I love that guy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Losing it on the home front.

I knew I was in trouble last night when Ron and I went out to eat. We were sitting at our table when suddenly I felt like I was in the room with my mother and she had just died. I saw myself washing her body and fixing her hair. That isn't what happened because the aide and the hospice nurse prepared her body but at that moment I wanted to be the one. I could feel her hands as I washed her and all of a sudden I'm just sobbing. Ron immediately took my hand as he handed me his handkershief and asked if we needed to leave. I don't know how but I managed to get myself together and tried to explain what happened. Right that minute I really thought I was losing my marbles. I felt so stupid because here he is 1 week after a major surgery but I'm the one falling apart. I am really anxious to see the doctor on Tuesday. I have this shakey feeling inside and it never goes away. I'm absolutely sure my blood sugar is all out of whack. I'm usually the strongest person in the family...not always a good title to hold because everyone tends to lean on you. I can't hardly hold myself up right now let alone anyone else.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Well, after another sleepless night and a lot of tears today I finally called my doctor and made an appointment for next week. I'm physically and emotionally drained. I went by to see my oldest brother last night and learned that his cancer has returned. I just feel as if I can never take a deep breath anymore. That anvil is getting closer and closer to landing on my head. I just decided I need to get checked out because I am almost certain I have gone from pre-diabetic to the full-blown version. My diet has been horrific for the past 6 months. I have had 2 fainting spells this week..totally out of the blue for no apparent reason. I just haven't taken time to get myself checked out and I finally decided I have to stop and take care of myself. I'm also tired of hearing myself sound so dismal.....I want to be my happy self again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rainy days and restless nights

Ron gets his staples removed this morning. I can't believe it has already been a week since his surgery. He's still doing great!

We have had nothing but rain and drizzle for the past week here in Oklahoma. Normally I love dark, rainy days, but it is starting to get to me. It's a little depressing.
I don't see any sign of it letting up for awhile either.

I had a restless night last night as I kept having strangers running in and out of my dreams. I think I woke up every hour on the hour until I got up at 5:00 a.m. It was surrender on my part. I saw no point staying in bed.

I've had absolutely nothing to write about as the only thing that has been on my mind for the past month is Ron's illness and questions about his future. I can't seem to think about anything else. If this continues I may have to seek a little outside help. I'm not even sure I can articulate all the things that are bothering me at this point. Lots of fear.......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


For all of us who are married , were married, wish you were married, or wish you weren't married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine:

Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride. With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old Woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

'What in bag?' asked the old woman. Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, 'It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.'

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:

'Good trade...............

Biggest Loser 8

What an opening night for this season's Biggest Loser. I was in tears just about all the way through the episode. I admire these people so much for it takes a lot of courage to bare yourself that way both emotionally and physically. Abby, the young teacher from Texas, broke my heart with her story of personal tragedy. She lost her husband, 5 1/2 year old daughter and 2 1/2 week old son in a car accident involving a drunk driver just two years ago. She is trying to find a "normal" life again. Just hearing her story helped me put my life back in perspective.

Every time I watch the Biggest Loser I feel guilty. I mean here I am sitting in my recliner like a slug watching people sweat, puke, and exercise themselves into the hospital. Really makes me feel lazy. Not enough to turn off the tv and move but lazy none-the-less.

I am curious as to the percentage of people who have participated on the Biggest Loser and how many of them have managed to keep the weight off. Since The Ranch is not the real world how do they fair a year or two after the show is over. Life style changes are hard to maintain.

I'm I guess I'll get out the hand weights and pump iron while I watch!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I took Ron to the doctor yesterday and they removed the pain pump. He did great and hasn't had any pain. He's only taken 1 pain pill since he's been home from the hospital and that was to help him sleep the first night. It's amazing how well he has done through all of this.

I'm back to work. It will take me a day or two to get caught up and my head settled down. This has been quite an ordeal and I still feel like their is an anvil resting just above my head. Does that feeling ever go away or will it take 5 years before I feel like I can take a deep breath again? Time will tell I guess.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Update

Ron was discharged from the hospital yesterday about 5:00 p.m. His doctor said he was doing remarkably well and that he had no reason to keep him in the hospital. So... last night went well. Ron is getting around real well. He took a shower this morning and said he felt human again. Tomorrow we go to the doctor's office and they will remove the pump that has been administering the nerve blocker. I think he will tolerate everything really well. He's been on a soft food diet but he's ready to start trying other things. So...I'm cooking mashed potatoes and baked chicken tonight and we'll see how he does. I'll probably go back to work on Tuesday if tomorrow goes as well as today. I didn't sleep so well myself, strange place I guess. I definitely sleep better in my own house but I'm not ready to leave him alone all night yet. Maybe Tuesday...we'll see.

Thanks to everyone for all your good wishes and prayers through all of this. It has been a scarey time. I know we have a ways to go yet but I'm hopeful and hope is everything!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Surgery Update

Ron made it through his surgery. The tumor was 12cm, quite large, the doctor said what he removed was as big as a football. The cancer had grown into the pelvic area and his left hip. It had also grown into an artery which was the surgeons main concern. He said he cannot say whether any cancer cells entered the artery or not. He basically said, "We will know in 2 years." Ron's pain has been well managed with a nerve blocker that is still in place. I don't know if it will be removed today or not so things may get more uncomfortable. I stayed all day yesterday and then a long time friend of Ron's came at 8:00 last night so I could come home and sleep. Bless you Frank! I'm getting ready now to go back to the hospital. There are so many things in life of which we have no control and this is certainly one. God promised us that he will always give us what we need if we have faith. I'm sure trying to remember that and to surrender all of this to Him.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Here we go!

We have to be at the hospital at 5:45 this morning. Ron's surgery is scheduled for 7:30. I'm absolutely scared to death! I didn't sleep much last night. I was replaying my mother's death over and over in my head all night. I couldn't even think about today. I'm anxious to hear what the doctor has to say after the surgery and I'm terrified of hearing what the doctor has to say. This will be a long day....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Part IV Kiss and Tell?

Well, if this were a Harlequin Romance there would be a lot of clothes ripping and sweaty bodies about now but hey, we’re talking about two people who didn’t get up the nerve to speak for almost 50 years and it took a year of emails to finally meet and another 9 months for a first kiss so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Oh, the passion was real and my head was swirling but caution is my middle name. We ended up sitting on the porch for a while holding hands and absorbing the fact that an unexpected spark had definitely been ignited. I was still trying to absorb this sudden change in our relationship and frankly I was a little out of practice in the romance department. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted a romantic relationship but my fluttering heart seemed to have a mind of its own. By the time we parted that night I was sure of only one thing, I couldn’t wait until we were together again.

I didn’t have to wait long as the next day was the first of many days together. We went to football games, basketball games and baseball games and did I mention I’m not a sports fan? What we will do for love! Our relationship grew from friendship and was definitely worth the wait and just as they say love comes when you least expect it. One evening I was trying to teach Ron how to dance. He admittedly had two left feet but was such a willing student. We rolled back the rug in his den and we started out with the Texas two-step graduating to the Cotton Eyed Joe. We were laughing and having so much fun as he counted out every beat. I asked him where he was when I needed a date to our high school senior prom? Suddenly stopped and looked at me with such a serious look I thought I must have stomped on his foot. He said, “Didn’t you go to the prom”?

Surprised by his sudden change in mood I replied, “No, my boyfriend and I broke up a week before the prom and I missed it.”

Ron’s face remained solemn as he responded, “If I had known I would have asked you to the prom.”

It was so sweet and so sincere I found myself crying. Here I was, fifty-two years old and crying about a missed opportunity some 35 years earlier. But, somehow I couldn’t imagine that prom being any more wonderful than this moment, this first dance.

Then as unexpectedly as that first kiss Ron looked in my eyes and said, “I love you.”

Now, this is where I will end our story out of respect to this shy, quiet and private man that I love. He has changed my life in ways I cannot describe. He has held my hand through difficult times and I have never felt alone. Now it is my turn to hold his.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Part III Green is not my color

After our snow cone date I sent Ron an email thanking him for the evening. I didn’t feel any pressure or have any expectation of seeing him again. We just continued emailing each other off and on for the next few months. Nothing was ever mentioned about getting together again and that was just fine with me. Then around the second week in December Ron called me and invited me to the Nutcracker ballet. He told me he had 2 season tickets to the ballet and would I like to see the Christmas production. I said sure and the following Saturday he picked me up and we drove to Oklahoma City to the ballet. He was a perfect gentlemen and I had a wonderful time. Our conversation was minimal but I wasn’t uncomfortable with the silence. He played Christmas cd’s in the car and we sang along to all the familiar carols. He drove me straight home after the performance and we exchanged a quick good-bye at the door. It was perfect, no pressure, and no expectation just a nice evening with an old friend.

The following week he took me to hear Manheim Steam Roller and the Oklahoma City Symphony. After the performance we took a drive through the city to look at Christmas lights. I was having a wonderful time just getting out and doing things with a great companion. I finally got the nerve to tell my daughters I’d actually been going out with someone but promptly informed them that it was not a romantic relationship but just an old friend. They were actually very encouraging and said they were happy to see me getting out of the house. I had really dreaded telling the girls and definitely underestimated them. I failed to realize they were grown up. I never dated when they were younger because they were so possessive and wouldn’t tolerate anyone they considered an intruder. I rarely rocked the boat by going out with anyone. Now, here they were, all grown up and giving me dating advice. They even went so far as critiquing my wardrobe and selecting clothes they thought would at least bring me into the current century.

The Christmas season ended and Ron and I picked up with our email contact and an occasional phone call. Although we never went out again I was still enjoying our occasional talks. He was a great listener and we talked through some difficult times that year. I was able to share my grief when a dear friend committed suicide. It was wonderful to have someone to listen to me and help me work through my unanswered questions and pain. It was easier because the relationship was not complicated by any romantic interest by either of us. I wrote to him about my daughter’s move to another state and how I was going to miss her. He was the first I told when she told me she was in love. He was also one of the first I told when she announced her engagement and upcoming Vegas wedding. So in July, the day my other daughter and I were flying to Vegas for Julie’s wedding, I wasn’t totally surprised when Ron showed up on my front porch. He brought me a silver dollar to bet on his behalf in Vegas and to extend his best wishes to my daughter. I was happy to see him again even though we had never really lost contact.

When I showed my daughter the silver dollar on the plane she teasingly exclaimed, “What, is it Christmas time already?” She was referring to Ron being a holiday date only. But Ron surprised us both by asking me out in September. He just called out of the blue and invited me to go to the state fair. I was excited to go since I hadn’t been to the fair since I was a kid. He purchased tickets to Disney on Ice and we had front row seats to Monsters Inc. It was very cute and at some point during the show he uncharacteristically slipped his arm around me to ward off the chill of the ice. After the show we walked around the fair and through the mid-way and ending up at a karaoke show under a pavilion. I was sensing something had changed between us but it was so subtle I couldn’t be sure. Ron had always taken my hand to guide me to and from the car but this time he would take my hand and linger a bit longer than usual. We decided we would dare to ride a few rides before leaving the fair and I chose what I felt sure would be tame. We rode the monorail with its bird's eye view and the giant farris wheel. Ron however decided we should ride a giant wheel that spun its passengers faster and faster while tilting on its axis. I thought I could handle it so I was game until I found myself strapped in so tight I couldn’t even turn my head from side to side. The wheel began turning picking up speed all while beginning to tilt until you were literally parallel to the ground and the passenger standing across from you. The ride had barely begun when I began talking to Jesus. The rider across from me didn’t know whether to be afraid of the ride or me. Ron was laughing so hard at me I could hear him over the sound of the wheel and my own screams. At some point I began bargaining with the Almighty and swore I’d never say or do a mean thing again as long as I lived if He would just get me off this wheel of torture alive. When the ride finally ended I was a lovely shade of green and sick as a dog. Ron was still having trouble controlling his laughter so we decided it was time to say good-bye to the fair.

It was about a 45-minute drive back to my house and just enough time for my stomach to finally come to a complete stop. Ron helped me from the car and walked me to the door as he had done many times before. I opened the glass door and put my key in the door and as I unlocked it I turned around to thank Ron for the evening. With no warning what so ever he pulled me close and kissed me. It wasn’t a peck goodnight but a real kiss our first kiss. I can’t describe it other than to say that for the first time in my life my knees actually buckled beneath me. My response was as unexpected and as big a surprise as him actually kissing me. So there, standing on my porch with my knees weak and my heart pounding, I knew that everything between us was about to change.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Today is the last day to get things finished. I'll be too busy next week. I'm off to go to the store and then I have a few errands to run. I hope to hang the drapes in my room today and then just clean house. Tomorrow I go back to work and then Ron's surgery is Thursday at 7:30 a.m.

Ron says that all he is waiting for is to hear the doctor say that the tumor is out and that the cancer has not spread. He says he can't think beyond that right now. I don't blame him. That's pretty much where I am as well.

I think I've been dealing with the wait by just staying busy. I've about worked myself to death actually. If I wasn't busy I'd be worrying myself to death. So this way I end up with a clean house.

Well, gotta beat the crowd to Walmart! Yuk

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Using the Good China!

I'm so tired I'm seeing double! I just about finished my bedroom. I purchased a new comforter set on sale about 2 years ago and have been saving it for when I redid the room. It's finally on the bed. Hooray! I'm no longer going to save things for what I don't know. It's time to use the good dishes so to speak. The room is looking nice. I was going to paint the paneling but then Ron got sick and there just isn't time for that. It looks good like it is....kinda like a lodge. The vanity I refinished to match my new furniture looks good. I'm pleased and my mother would be too. It was her vanity when she first got married. I bought silk curtains that I still have to get hung but I'm almost there......I'll take picture when I'm done and post them.

I didn't see Ron today cause he was having a guy day with my brother. They were settling in to watch the Okla. Sooners first football game. Ron is a total fanatic about OU and hasn't got an objective bone in his body. I'm not a sports fan as such. I can take it or leave it. So I left it to the two fanatics this evening and worked on my room instead.

Now, I'm off to soak in the tub and then go to bed........!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Today - I finally got the new carpet installed in my bedroom. Haven't gotten everything put back in the room yet but at least it is done.

Ron is hanging in there. He's going to be on the antibiotic until the day of surgery. He gets tired really fast. He kept me company today while the carpet was being put in but I could tell he was really fatigued. We've just been trying to get all the errands and things done before next week. I had my car fixed (some kind of bearing was worn out) and I have the foundation repair company coming out Tues. to adjust the piers around my house. In a way all the little jobs are keeping up busy and our minds off the surgery. A good coping mechanism I guess.

Ron is still having trouble talking about the cancer and hasn't told any of his friends yet. The only person he has talked to is his daughter. I know his friends would be a great support to him but I guess he'll tell them when he is ready.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Part II - Cherry Flavored Snow Cones

Ron and I picked a day and time for our meeting and I said I’d just pick him up since I knew where his parent’s house was located. Secretly I needed to feel I had some control over the situation and told him I looked forward to seeing him again.

So, on July 14, 2001, I drove to Ron’s house to pick him up for a snow cone. When I drove up in his driveway he was already waiting on the porch. I would have recognized him anywhere. The only change was his hair was now salt and peppered with grey, only making him look distinguished. I don’t know why it is that men grow distinguished with age but women just grow old. He was over 6 feet tall with broad shoulders and as he struggled to get into the front seat of my sub compact car I noticed he strongly resembled Larry Hagman, of Dallas fame. He smiled as he sat down and we greeted one another with nervous small talk. He politely told me he’d have recognized me and that I still had the same smile he remembered. I drove to the snow cone stand across town all the while chattering away nervously. I was grateful to be driving as it gave me something else to think about. We got our cherry flavored snow cones and took them to a popular duck pond near our old elementary school. I parked my car and before I could stop the engine Ron was at my door opening it and offering me his hand. I was definitely not used to such chivalry. We walked around the pond awhile eventually taking a seat at a picnic table next to the water.

It was weird talking to this man I knew but didn’t know. We’d never held a conversation in our lives other than on the Internet yet we shared memories of school days and mutual friends. We spent the next two hours telling stories about our marriages and break-ups. It seemed obvious to me that we were in very different places. It was more than 24 years since my marriage ended and the wound was no longer raw. He on the other hand was just beginning to let go of his anger and hurt. I think that is what finally put me at ease. I knew I wasn’t looking for a relationship and I knew that he was definitely not ready for one. It was a win-win situation.

Several hours passed while we sat there talking about our lives since high school. Ron had moved around a lot with his career while I had only lived in one home other than my parent’s house. Ron moved back to Oklahoma after his marriage ended and when his father was diagnosed with colon cancer. His dad passed away 3 years earlier and his mother almost ten years prior. I knew that Ron was an only child and I remembered hearing in grade school that he had an older brother who died. That night as we continued to talk Ron told me about his brother and how he fell on a tricycle handle bar causing a hernia. He was just turning 5 at the time. The doctor indicated the repair was a minor surgery and assured them all should be fine. Ron was just an infant at the time so his parents were juggling the care of a newborn and his brother’s surgery. On the day of surgery his mom and dad were told the operation had been delayed for a few hours so they left their oldest son in the care of his uncle while they ran home to feed their new baby. While they were home there was another change to the surgery schedule and his brother was whisked away to the operating room while crying for his mother and daddy. Ron’s uncle immediately called his parents but before they could get back to the hospital the surgery had begun. Ron’s brother had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia and died on the operating table before they arrived. Ron said the doctor continued trying to revive the child for almost two hours until his mother finally said, “enough.”

I just sat there thinking about my own children and trying to imagine the pain his parents must have felt. Ron continued the story saying his parents married just as his dad was leaving for WWII. His mother wanted to conceive a child before Carl went to war so she became pregnant with Carl Jr. Ron’s dad didn’t see his son until he was almost 3 years old. He had only been a part of his life for 2 years and then he was gone. Ron told me that his father was never able to talk about his firstborn son and that Ron had only recently learned from his uncle all of the circumstances surrounding his death.

So, now with both his parents gone and his only child living almost 2,000 miles away he was back home in the house his parents built when he was a kid, the house around the corner from where I grew up. Now, here we sat, 34 years after our high school graduation, telling our stories and filling in the gaps of time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Part I -

This tale is written solely for my own benefit. Writing has always been the way I cope with stress. I wrote my way through the growing pains of youth, motherhood, divorce and death. I have the need to write about my relationship with Ron. So this is how it starts.... Read it if you like, no offense taken if you don't.

I’ve always wondered how one can meet a total stranger and immediately have a connection as if you have known each other forever. It’s like an instant click and you find yourselves talking for hours like two old friends. Then there are people you have known all your life and yet still don’t really know each other. That’s how it is with Ron and I. We have been together 8 years now and he doesn’t talk. Anything I have learned about him I’ve had to drag it out of him. We are as different as night and day as I will talk to anyone who will listen and he is the guy that never says a word. Since we were kids everyone assumed that Ron (or Ronnie as he was called in grade school) was just shy. He was the tallest boy in school and because he hadn’t grown into his size he was a little clumsy and awkward. He was always considered one of the nicest boys in school as well. He got the good citizenship award every year in grade school and we got it together 2 of those years. I sure didn’t get it for being quiet I can tell you.

We are such total opposites in everything that I wonder at times what sustains our relationship other than a shared history (pre-college years). He is the conservative Republican and I’m the bleeding heart Democrat. What sustains us I think is our shared sense of continuity. We grew up only one block from each other and our mothers were acquainted as well. It is always nice to have someone in your life who remembers you “when”. You know, when you were young, and when you were still a size six. This is the thing that I thought was lost to me forever after my divorce.

I have had one revelation about Ron though and that is he is not shy in the least. On the outside he appears shy and uncomfortable but that is false body language. He simply is a silent observer (a trick I have yet to master) but enjoying his self every second no matter where he is. I on the other hand am not comfortable in groups or new places. I’m a one-on-one kind of gal and I don’t really open up in a crowd. But get me alone and I'll spill my guts. So in some ways we are both the opposite of how we are perceived. What’s interesting is I know that people think I don’t have a shy bone in my body when I actually do. Ron on the other hand has no idea why anyone would think he is shy.

Duh, I don’t know Ron, could it be that they have never heard the sound of your voice?

What drives me nuts when I’m around him is that I always feel like I’m talking to myself. I mean I’ll admit I’m pretty crazy about the sound of my own voice but hey…there is a limit.

Ron came back into my life most unexpectedly. In July of 2001 I was going about my life as a divorced mother of two just as I had been doing for 24 years. I had finally reached a place where I was comfortable if not content. I at least convinced myself that I was content. My daughters were finishing college and about to embark on their own lives. I had time to devote to myself and I had long ago given up the dream of loving someone again or being loved. I no longer yearned for something I believed would never be. I don't want to trivialize how difficult it was to finally find that contentment. It was a very long and difficult journey. I think I was wishing my life away, waiting for the time when I would finally be old enough that no one would expect love to come along. At 51 years of age I had finally arrived to a place of contentment. My mother had stopped giving me advice on how to find a man. Her best being the time she told me to watch the obituaries. She advised me that men remarry quickly after losing a spouse. I'm not sure what she meant by sharing that information. Did she want me to beat all the other divorcees to the family car or what? I was also grateful that my friends no longer tried to set me up. Age and wrinkles had finally brought their own reward.

So, here I was just living and working and going about life as usual when I received an email from a fellow high school classmate. She had created a web page for the class of 1967 to help classmates reconnect before our upcoming 35-year class reunion. On the web page was a list of classmates and their email addresses. I immediately went to the site to see if there were any names I recognized. I had absolutely no intention of attending the reunion but I was curious just the same. There were a few names I looked for and one of them was Ron’s. I had thought about Ron many times over the years.

Ron and I met in the first grade. I remember thinking that he seemed like an adult standing taller than all the other kids. He was the quietest boy in the class. He never spoke but there was something calming about his half smile. We exchanged smiles but no words until the day he gave me a Crackerjack ring and I drew him a picture of a sailboat. We each stood up in front of our class to show off our treasures for show-n-tell. That was the beginning of the next 12 years of shy glances and timid smiles. We went all the way through school together. We never spoke in those 12 years but somewhere in my heart that crush remained.

After high school graduation we went on to different colleges. He graduated from our local University and then went out of state to receive his master’s degree. In the mean time I fell in love and married in 1969. I never saw Ron again until our 10-year high school reunion. At that time my marriage was on the verge of collapse but Ron’s had just begun. I asked a mutual friend at the reunion if he had seen Ron was told he was there with his new bride. After locating him across the room I was absolutely ahh struck by the way he was looking at his new bride. He was so filled with love and looked at her so adoringly they might as well have been the only two people in the room. I don’t know how or where I found the courage but I walked across the room and spoke the first words I’d ever said to him in my life. Ron smiled and returned my greeting and then introduced me to his wife and that was it. I congratulated them and went back to my seat across the room but I never forgot how he looked at his young wife that night. Throughout the years, especially when I was feeling lonely, I would often remember that night and how Ron looked at her and wonder how it would be to have someone look at me that way.

So, 25 years later looking at the reunion site and locating Ron’s name and email address I decided to write him a note and tell him how he had impressed me at the 10-year reunion. I wanted to tell him I hoped his life and marriage had continued as happily as it was that night. Sending that note was so out of character for me but I really wanted him to know that he had left a lasting impression with me.

A few days after sending Ron the email I received a reply. He politely thanked me for my note but said unfortunately his marriage had ended in divorce 3 years earlier. He said they were married for 22 years but unexpectedly one day his wife said she no longer loved him and asked him to leave. I could tell by the tone of his words that he was still hurt and struggling. He told me he had one daughter who was married and had a son. Ron received his master’s degree in long-term health care and made his career as a nursing home administrator.

When I received his reply I was speechless. Now, what do you say after sticking such a large foot in your mouth? I responded apologetically but somehow in the midst of our awkward beginning we began emailing one another. For almost a year we exchanged emails, not regularly but every once in awhile. I thought he was still living in North Carolina so the exchange felt safe and comfortable. I was not looking for a relationship nor did I want to date. However, I enjoyed the exchange and began to look forward to his emails.

Then one night I was on the computer when I got an instant message from no other than Ron. This was the first time we had talked in real time. I was taken back when he suggested we go get a snow cone sometime. I laughingly responded, “Sounds great but how do you plan to do that from North Carolina?”

“I don’t live in North Carolina, I’m right here. I live in mom and dad’s old house” responded Ron.

I couldn’t believe it. We had been writing to each other for almost a year and it had never occurred to this man to mention we were living in the same town! This changed everything. I immediately got nervous and stressed. I was scared to death. All my self-consciousness rose to the surface. It had been more than 25 years since the last time we had seen each other. I was now 51 years old. What on earth would he think of me? I suddenly felt old, fat and ugly, but I quickly typed my answer, “Why not!”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This is GREAT!!!!
A 1st grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are first-graders, 6-year-olds, because the last one is a classic!

1. Don't change horses - until they stop running.

2. Strike while the - bug is close.

3. It is always darkest before - Daylight Savings Time.

4. Never underestimate the power of - termites.

5. You can lead a horse to water but - How?

6. Don't bite the hand that - looks dirty.

7. No news is - impossible

8. A miss is as good as a - Mr.

9. You can't teach an old dog new - Math

10.If you lie down with dogs, you'll - stink in the morning.

11.Love all, trust - Me.

12.The pen is mightier than the - pigs.

13.An idle mind is - the best way to relax.

14.Where there's smoke there's - pollution.

15.Happy the bride who - gets all the presents.

16.A penny saved is - not much.

17.Two's company, three's - the Musketeers.

18.Don't put off till tomorrow - what you put on to go to bed.

19.Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you have to blow your nose.

20.There are none so blind as - Stevie Wonder.

21.Children should be seen and not - spanked or grounded.

22.If at first you don't succeed - get new batteries.

23. If you get out of something only what - you See in the picture on the box

24. When the blind lead the blind - get out of the way.

25. A bird in the hand - is going to poop on you.

And the WINNER and last one!

26.Better late than - Pregnant
Ron went to the doctor this morning and seems the fever is from an infection caused by the bladder scoping on Friday. They are going to get him started on an antibiotic. Surgery is still on for the 10th.

Surgery date is set!

Ron's surgery will be Sept. 10th. I was hoping it would be this week but guess the holiday caused some scheduling problems. Ron started running a temp. yesterday of 101.3 and having chills. He's going to talk to the doctor today and he'll tell him about the temp. I wonder if they will put him on an antibiotic. I'm concerned about an infection just before surgery. This waiting is just miserable. I can't imagine how hard it is for him.

I am supposed to get the new carpet installed Friday. All my bedroom furniture is in the dining room right now. I just want to get everything back in order. What I really wish is that I could just rewind the clock. I want to go back to "before cancer". I'm afraid that it will now define our lives and especially Ron's. I know you can only take each day one at a time but it is so hard not to look forward and start playing the what if game. I'm scared. I'm sure he is scared but we haven't been able to talk to each other about our fears because we are protecting each other. I don't want him to see my fear and I suppose he is feeling the same thing. Maybe we are still in shock and it will all start becoming real once he is in the hospital.